July 26, 2006

Dog #1

Over the week of the Fourth of July Frinklin and I took a week off work and invited my family up from San Diego. We had beautiful weather in the mid 70s, sun shining, few clouds, and no rain. They spent most of the week shivering and complaining that they had not brung enough heavy jackets. Wimps.

On the fifth, my fourteen-year-old sister, Nikki, managed to grab a stray dog that was wandering through our front yard and informed me that we would be placing him in my backyard. I was given no choice in the matter. I avoided all contact with the dog and left a message with Animal Control asking that they pick up the stray as soon as possible. The dog was provided water and a blanket to lie upon. No petting. No naming.

Forty-eight hours, five bowl of dog food, and two additional calls to Animal Control later, we were forced to spend some panicked time with the stray. We had returned home from a day-long hike in the Olympic National Forest (at Lake Quinault) with The Jeffrey and Matchbox. They were quite exhausted and colapsed upon entering the house. I peeked out the window into the backyard to check on the dog. He appeared under the window, peering up at me, tail wagging. As I turned away I immediately heard loud, noises coming from what sounded like under the house. Thinking he was digging under the fence I ran outside.

Glancing around I found...nothing. The stray was gone. I opened the gate and saw no sign of the giant, 80 pound, hairy beast that had been happily living in our backyard for several days. As I turned to enter the house and tell Frinklin that we were now down one extra canine, I heard a loud whine from ground level. Looking down, I noticed a nose poking out from the ventilation area that leads to the crawl space UNDER THE HOUSE. Let me repeat that. UNDER THE HOUSE. This ventilation hole is only about 12"X18". Eighty pounds of dog. UNDER THE HOUSE. Much yelling for Frinklin started immediately.


Gnosis Under House 3.gif

Please note that what you are seeing is just his head sticking out. His body is far larger. Reason states that if he made it into the hole, he can get out again, right?

At one time, chicken wire had covered this hole, but no longer. As we attempted to coax the stray out, old pieces of wire dug into his legs and chest. Frinklin managed to rip out most of the sharp edges and we began to pull, which didn't work. After ten minutes or so, questions such as "Who does one call to remove an 80 pound dog from your 110 year-old home's 12 inch crawl space?" began to be asked. The fire department? Those wild animal removal specialists that work with alligators and skunks?

It finally dawned on me that the reason he had shoved himself under the house is that he was trying to enter the house to be with us. He saw me through the window and wanted to come in. This provided leverage, finally. I started encouraging with all my might. Calling him every sweet doggie name there is. Petting him and sweet-talking, praising and cooing. Slowly one leg...then...the other...Frinklin had them both...the front end is out...now the middle...and...free!

We were immediately covered by a giant, harry mass of very excited dog. Any thought of sending him off with Animal Control was banished. Spending 45 minutes rescuing a dog from your crawl space is a bonding experience for all parties involved. He was ours, and we were his. We christened him Herky and vowed to keep our families in the dark for a few more days until we could confirm that The Jeffrey would accept the new recruit.

More tomorrow...

Posted by Ensie at 08:28 PM | Comments (153) | TrackBack

July 20, 2006

Fifty Percent

Have you ever had a moment when you begin talking about something which leads to something else, only to become another topic, finally dissolving into some underlying issue you didn't know you were so distraught about in the first place?

With the back problems, scoliosis weirdness, carpal tunnel (going to the orthopedic surgeon in a week!), I've been cracking jokes about turning thirty regularly. It's irritating to feel like I'm already breaking down before I've even left my twenties. I don't feel especially traumatized about moving into another decade of existence, but it is definitely a milestone and for a lot of people, apparently me as well, it means you are supposed to be a little more grown up. No more bank of Dad. Taking responsibility for the choices I have made, and hopefully knowing a little bit more about myself than I did ten years ago. I don't think those are huge goals, but they are my goals at the precipice of thirty.

I do have a general angst about growing older and a fear of death. I blame my parents and their early insistence that when I accepted Jesus into my heart at five years old that I would never face the fires of hell as a Christian. Then when I came out as a lesbian at 19 suddenly I stood on shaky ground and the Lake of Fire opened before me once again. But I digress...

One of the things I did expect to do before I turned thirty was have at least one child. I was my parent's first child, born when my mother was 29, which always sounded so old to have a first kid. It hasn't been until the last few years that I really felt capable of even potentially being a parent. I know you rarely ever feel 100% ready, but I definitely knew I wasn't ready at 22 years of age, partying into the wee hours, getting 15 minutes of sleep, and pretending not to nap at my desk the entire next day. Kids would have put a crimp in that lifestyle.

Somewhere along the line I switched my thinking. Instead of a party of 60, lets invite over six people. Instead of a keg, lets have wine. I'll skip the pot and coke lines, we'll just sit and chat, thanks. While this may sound a whole lot boring, it increased my daylight productivity considerably and allowed me to have actual conversations and relationships not based on questions such as, "Where's the bathroom at?!?" screamed over bad dance-techno.

So flash forward to me, sitting in the therapist's office on Wednesday morning, in tears discussing my lost relatives who will never see my unborn children as well as the living relatives who are simply dying for Frinklin and I to have kids but are nearly biting their tongues off in an effort to stay quiet. The therapist's response is this:

Therapist: "So, it sounds like you do want kids then? And Frinklin wants kids?"

Me: "God, yes. We thought we would have them already."

Therapist: "Then have them!"

Me: "But...work...and...um...what would I do...uh..."

Therapist: "Look, people have kids all the time. You just have them. No one is ever really ready for them. Stuff works out. You own a house. You are relatively financially secure. If you have to work, you have to work. If you don't, you don't. If your relatives can help, they will. You have a good job. You work part time at home. You work for a progressive company. Frinklin will eventually be working at home. Your Father-In-Law works at home. Your parents are looking at moving up here. You'll figure it out! Go have some kids!"

Me: "Um, OK."


If only it were that simple.

Once upon a time my Mom informed me that I had a weird genetic disorder when I was born and that I may need to look into it before having kids. Over the years I've mentioned the name of this disorder to most of my doctors, all of which have shrugged and said, "Never heard of it, but you seem healthy. I wouldn't worry about it." Apparently that's the wrong answer.

After researching Incontinentia Pigmenti (IP) on the web for a couple of hours last night, it seems that I could have serious problems with a pregnancy. IP is a very rare genetic disorder (in fact, it's part of the National Organization for Rare Disorders). The reason none of my doctors have heard of it is because most of them will never see it in their lifetime. When I was born I visited doctor after doctor just so that they could see what IP looked like, because they would likely never see it again (but just in case).

IP affects the X chromosome of a developing fetus and males are miscarried 100% of the time. I have a 50% chance of having a normal child, boy or girl, and a 50% chance of having an IP child, boy or girl. If it is a girl, she may be relatively normal, like me, with almost no permanent side effects. Or, she could have a myriad of nightmarish problems that encompasses pretty much every birth defect imaginable. Either way, the first year or two of life involves a series of plague-like rashes of boils, blisters, warts, and pustules. Pretty. I'll be finding out the details baby's first plague on the phone with my Mom this weekend while completing a questionnaire about myself for the Incontinentia Pigmenti International Foundation.

So now there may be rounds of genetic counseling and testing. Fortunately the testing itself is free, and for your convenience, there are three labs available in the world that will test for the NEMO (IP) gene. One in Texas. One in England. And one in Italy. Weirdly enough, there is a genetic specialist that sits on the IP International Foundation Advisory Board located in Ann Arbor, MI, where I will be in just over a week. I don't know if I should call or not.

Updates on this fun topic as time goes on. I'm sure this is fascinating reading for everyone not effected by a completely rare genetic disorder. In a conversation with my sister, Katie, this afternoon she made me laugh, I know exactly how you feel. Everyone wants to give money to breast cancer and muscular dystrophy, and whatnot. No one wants to give money to those of us with epilepsy. It's like, hello?! Here I am, down on the floor waving and shaking�

Posted by Ensie at 08:31 PM | Comments (76) | TrackBack

July 19, 2006

M@ry K@ying my Shit Up!

I'm sure Ms. M@ry K@y would boot my ass right on out of the Pink Mafia for saying such things, but a girl has got to make a living.

When I turned 13, my Mom set up an appointment with her M@ry K@y "Lady" (known as "Independent Consultants" now) to have a facial and learn how to take care of my skin. A couple friends came over. My Mom bought some stuff for me. It was sort-of fun. Mostly I just remember that all the M@ry K@y stuff looked old fashioned and boring, and that I could care less about it. The products molded in the back of my vanity while I used flashy advertized items like Oxy10 and Noxema which sort-of worked.

Flash forward sixteen years later and I am in Tacoma and know nobody outside of family. A woman younger than myself offers to give me a M@ry K@y facial and I accept, figuring it can't hurt and I might get a chance to chat face-to-face with someone outside of my husband or in-laws. Lets call her Carrie.

Carrie turns out to be great. She is funny and interesting. She doesn't know hardly anyone in Washington either. She only moved here a year ago with her military husband, and she is pregnant with their second child. She loves dogs and isn't even put off by The Jeffrey. All around high scores.

The weirdest part of the visit? I LOVE the M@ry K@y stuff! Who knew?!

M@ry K@y must have done something right in the last several years, or my skin has actually started aging and needs some love. I bought everything. Cleanser, moisturizer, microdermabrasion kit, satin hands, satin lips, miracle day, and miracle night solution. And I got free (well, free-ish) gifts to go with all my stuff. I had no idea I was such a product whore.

After my spending binge, Carrie and I continued to talk on the phone and e-mail and I discovered that she had been working toward earning her M@ry K@y car. Not a pink Caddy, but something she could really use. In order to do so, she needed to recruit a few more M@ry K@y Commandos to the front lines as well as sell, sell, sell. I referred folks where I could and on the last possible day, finally gave up, closed my eyes, and signed.

I am a M@ry K@y Independent Consultant, Dammit!

Since signing up, I've developed a family heavy customer base of three people. The best part by FAR has been the motivational sales meeting I was invited to. Description to come. Sadly, no pictures were taken. I'll try to sneak some in at a future event. It was far, far worse than you can imagine. I wish I had been watching with a few good friends behind a one way mirror. There was singing, and dancing. Poetry was read. Plastic flowers were handed out. Tears were shed. This discription can't really do it justice.

The real question is, can I survive the humiliation of wearing a skirt, pumps and pantyhose (actual required dress code) and the embarrasment of whispering, "I sell M@ry K@y" to random women, all for a few extra bucks in my pocket from time to time? Since I really do love the product, I feel like I should put the maximum emphasis on that and forget the rest.

So, anyway, if you want some Mary Kay, let me know via email at ensie1@gmail.com. I'll hook you up with a great discount. I ship anywhere in the US.

No lie, the stuff rocks. Pink crazies or no.

Posted by Ensie at 07:20 PM | Comments (221) | TrackBack